By Gustavo Cardenas, WG’12 & Carmen Madanes, WG’12
A stellar Wharton team recommended the restructuring of a Chilean salmon company to edge out a competing Kellogg team in the finals of this new event. Drawing more than 60 participants, judges and observers, the first ever Wharton Latin America Private Equity Competition was a resounding success.
A group of second years flawlessly executed this event which placed the Wharton brand top of mind for Latin American private equity professionals and students interested in the field. The competition was structured as a two-round tournament in which teams from top MBA programs presented original and actionable targets to an “investment committee” that was composed of managing partners from numerous PE firms investing in the region. Teams from LBS, MIT, Chicago, Kellogg, Columbia and Wharton presented ideas ranging from a clothing retailer in Brazil to a healthcare roll-up strategy in the Latin American Region. During this round, the teams were split into two brackets that presented to three to four judges each. The judges grilled our classmates and peers in an Iron Chef style Q&A session. Answers such as “I don’t know” or “We didn’t consider that factor” were not acceptable. One set of judges provided feedback to the teams by asking them to stand up in the front of the room like a firing squad. Paradoxically, this was one of the favorite moments for a lot of the presenters. The participants had been welcomed by the organizing committee with pitchers of margaritas and caipirinhas; suddenly they were receiving in-depth feedback in a competitive environment in which you could cut the tension with a knife. Ultimately, a Wharton team and a Kellogg team made it to the final round. The Wharton team composed of Henry Heinerscheid (WG’13), Abel Osorio (WG’12), Juan Gonzalez-Goicoechea (WG’12), and Jose Luis Gonzalez Pastor (WG’12) proposed a buyout of a Peruvian car battery manufacturer, while the Kellogg team also proposed a Peruvian deal, but instead of a poultry producer.
This article originally appeared in the Wharton Journal, February 10, 2012. Read the full story:
Wharton Team Triumphs in LatAm Private Equity Competition.